Archive for September, 2010

From the Mystery Novel HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings by D.J. Houston

Faith In America by Donald Zolan

Before the second half of 20th Century America happened to her citizens, most kids who weren’t beat up too much for their choices were fairly safe and capable — able to focus their attention on the world in front of them long enough to finish a task and get something done on their own without fear of harm. . .

Even young children could be sent to run an errand, trusted not to meet an early end by a generation of parents and grandparents whose worst fear was that a youngster might actually starve to death if he didn’t learn some skills and self-reliance. And even in the cities, even during wartime, people looked out for each other’s kids . . .

Everybody knew their neighbors, anyway, at least around Havenwood. Scum didn’t stand much of a chance.

As for what happened to the nation and to the minds and morals of her people and their leaders in the decades that followed, it wasn’t television or movies or video games or computers, not guns or even the internet wars and poison food and water that turned out to be the real hidden culprit — as folks in a new awakening would come to realize.

And though the bigger story of who and why and how the money trails connected still lurked behind the scenes . . .

Suffice it to say that, when I was a child, the art of dumbing down humanity with drugs and glorifying violence to masquerade as “culture” under the guise of “human nature” and “news of the day” had not fully taken hold yet as the modus operandi to convince folks life was dangerous, so they wouldn’t look too deep.

People in places like Havenwood could still seek solace in their churches.  And there was still contentment to be found in the plain, old-fashioned friendliness of small town life, and common sense in family.

That the grownups in my early youth weren’t terrorized by a constant barrage of televised bad news sandwiched between phony-baloney commercials was a godsend.  The ominous newspaper headlines and spurious hawkings of must-have wares and miracle cures on the radio were bad news enough back then.

Bad News, School Shootings and “Happy Pills”. . .

But we didn’t have a TV yet.  And we didn’t subscribe to the newspaper.  And by 1946, the radio no longer had a war to report.

No one at my house was very interested in bad news, anyway.  And except for old Miss Hickey, nobody at school cared much about it, either.

We didn’t even have school shootings when I was a kid.  No student would dream of bringing a gun to school in the first place, now that the war was over, unless they needed it to shoot some supper on the way home.  They could just store their guns in the principal’s gun case, next to his.

As for the day of fearing one’s child might fall prey to some counselor dispensing make-you-crazy “happy pills” to adjust their behavior if they wiggled too much or (god forbid) they thought outside the box, the idea of turning children into zombies was so far-fetched, it would have been hard to imagine even a Nazi Germany could have thought that one up. . .

Which is all to say that during those fleeting years between wars, in mid-20th Century Heartland America, life was safer for a child for awhile — especially a curious and outspoken one like me.  And able to live a life less influenced by artificial style and false opinion, with plenty of worthwhile work to go around, kids enjoyed a lot more freedom in general.

And so it was, in early summer 1946, that I could wander off unfettered from our family picnic at Silver Bear Lake on a gorgeous Saturday morning, leaving my brother Timmy to fish and run wild with our stair-stepped trio of freckle-faced, farm boy cousins while the grownups played their dominoes.

And with my little belly full of fried chicken and buttery biscuits, I set out to investigate a rare and fascinating day, indeed . . .

Excerpts from the Coming Novel HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings

D.J. Houston, Author

Copyright©2007, 2013 D.J. Houston. All Rights Reserved.

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Excerpts from the novel HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings by Author D.J. Houston

Irish Family Wisdom in Heartland America

"Mama said I was a perfect daisy bud." ~ Trudie McAfee of Havenwood TalesThe rest of my family never fretted about my looks in the least.

Unabashedly partial to all things Irish (or even part Irish, like me), my daddy’s brothers, Arthur and Chester, held an opposite view, in fact.

And while humble, homespun Uncle Chester might offer, “You’re cute as a button, darlin’,” regardless of how much dirt I had on my face, and Uncle Arthur might declare with typical exuberance, “Tis a pure perfect lass I’m beholdin’ here!” most any time he saw me, they both insisted I had Mama’s “cheery smile” and “wise, hazel eyes like your Irish daddy.”


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“And as predictable as the cycles of the moon, you felt very alive and fortified in his presence, imbued somehow with your own capacity for higher understanding  . . .”

Mister Walling was, pure and simple, a world of his own.  And he was different from anyone anywhere I’ve been since the days of Havenwood.

Truth be told, I rarely ever saw him. It happened in the course of my living that the journey itself absorbed me more than my quest for truth.  And yet Gabriel White Cloud Walling became an indelible part of my life, as necessary as my dreams and the ground I walked on . . . . .

He never intimated there was anything out of the ordinary about his appearance. And I really enjoyed looking at him.

His condition seemed so natural, it never occurred to me to ask if there might have been strange circumstances. Or an accident at birth. Or any other meat-brained question I already knew wasn’t the answer. And because he conducted himself as a quiet and unassuming, good-natured creature and I’d heard no one complain or say he was odd, it seemed to me, initially, that folks around Havenwood had accepted him for the miracle he was — until I realized that he was never spoken of.

Miracle of Spirit

Photocanvas by D.J. Houston

Yet the best I could track, Mister Walling had lived deep in the same patch of woods past the north shore of Silver Bear Lake above Havenwood for well over half a century before I even met him. And he didn’t seem to me to be what folks would call a bona fide recluse; he just preferred to keep to himself, choosing his people and causes of his own accord.

His value sprang from the stories he shared with a privy few of each new generation. And those he touched knew in their hearts that a visit with Mister Walling promised, if just for a moment, a freedom from the stream of time — something sacred, eternal and true.

I think another reason he was so special was the fact that whenever you arrived to him, he already knew why your were there, whether you knew why or not.

And as predictable as the cycles of the moon, you felt very alive and fortified in his presence, imbued somehow with your own capacity for higher understandingif not of what had happened, then surely of things to come . . .

Excerpts from the opening of HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings

D.J. Houston, Author

Copyright©2006, 2014 D.J. Houston. All Rights Reserved.

Havenwood Tales - The RockerMystery Novel – Life Journey – Paranormal Intrigue – Visionary Fiction – Inspirations



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